Invited to a Thanksgiving Potluck? Ideas for What to Bring

It’s not just about what you bring when you’re invited to a potluck on Thanksgiving – it’s how you can help! These Thanksgiving tips will help you show your gratitude and make your hostess’ job much easier.

The first tip for when you’re invited to a Thanksgiving potluck is to remember how BIG a job it is to host the dinner – even if everyone is contributing a dish. Even though one person isn’t solely responsible for roasting the turkey, mashing the potatoes, baking the pumpkin pies, and on and on … your hostess still has a lot of work to do.

Show that you’re thankful for the invitation to Thanksgiving potluck dinner with these ideas for how to help and what to bring…

Invited to a Thanksgiving Potluck? Ideas for What to Bring

The easiest thing to bring to Thanksgiving dinner is a Gourmet Thanksgiving Gift Basket. It’s particularly good when your hostess hasn’t asked you to bring a specific dinner dish or dessert – and it’s especially good if you encourage her to save the gift basket for later in the week. Don’t let her share it with her guests; it’s for her and her family alone!

Check with the hostess about “assigned” dishes

This is the first thing to do if you’re invited to a Thanksgiving potluck: ask the host or hostess what Thanksgiving dishes are needed. Offer to bring pumpkin pie with whipped cream, mashed potatoes, or a shrimp cocktail appetizer.

If you want to bring a turkey to the potluck, read How to Roast a Turkey in 7 Easy Steps.

Offer to bring your cappuccino machine or coffee maker

I’m not suggesting you buy the hostess a cappucinno machine! But, if you have one, why not offer to bring it over and make cappuccinos, lattes, or mochas for the guests? We don’t have a cappuccino machine and our coffee maker is tiny — so if I invited you to a Thanksgiving potluck, I’d love if you brought your coffee-making talents to dinner!

Offer your undivided assistance on Thanksgiving Day

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be a time-consuming, stressful, overwhelming responsibility! Potlucks are easier, but can still be stressful. If you’re invited for Thanksgiving dinner potluck, one idea is to offer your undivided help and total attention for a specific amount of time before or after dinner. You can be the assistant cook and bottle washer, and help her any way she needs for the potluck dinner.

Remember that some hostesses don’t like to ask for help, but they’re grateful when you just jump in and do the dishes or start clearing the table.

Ask the hostess if she needs chairs, tables, or people for the potluck

How about extra cushions for sitting on the floor, extra wine glasses or coffee cups, extra plates and salad bowls, or an extra card table or two for the kids?

Another idea for what to bring when you’re invited to a Thanksgiving potluck is other guests! Offer to pick up some of the other guests who don’t or can’t drive.

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Bring a bottle of wine to the Thanksgiving potluck dinner

Wine is perfect thing to bring to Thanksgiving even if it’s “dry.” The hostess can save the wine for later, give it away, or open it immediately.

“Thanksgiving wines can really vary,” says wine connoisseur Derrick Cousins. “To impress without spending a lot of money, try a red Burgundy from the Cotes de Nuits, which is made from Pinot Noir grapes. It goes quite well with turkey, and its flavors mesh well with the other side dishes, such as mashed potatoes and cranberries.”

Red wine versus white wine depends on what you prefer. Thanksgiving dinner will probably involve turkey, which is leaner than beef. A red Pinot Noir is a good thing to bring when you’re invited to a Thanksgiving potluck. And, this wine expert says the Barbaresco from Northern Italy is good because it’s lighter on tannins and won’t overpower the flavor of the Thanksgiving dinner.

A cool idea is to throw in a set of Wine Glass Charms – they help guests remember which wine glass is theirs.

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If you’re still looking for ideas for what to bring to the potluck, read Thanksgiving Gift Ideas for Turkey Day.

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